Laurel Records released a unique CD from the piano duo of Margret Elson and Elizabeth Swarthout back in 1996. It does indeed include only music composed by Americans in the 20th Century, written for piano four-hands.
Although that seems to be a fairly narrow focus, the duo still had more than enough music to choose from. The disc opens with "Gazebo Dances" from then young and up-and-coming composer John Corigliano. It's a treat to hear this seldom-performed work.
The release surveys the field well. Included are duos by earlier composers such as Wallingford Rieger and Vincent Persichetti, as well as a 1996 composition by Claire Polin.
All in all, it's an exciting program of music that, because it's for piano duo, is not often heard by the public.
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- Ralph Graves
This program we play selections from "20th Century American 4-Hand Piano Music" by the Elon-Swarthout Duo. Including:
John Corigliano: Gazebo Dances, Mvts. 1 & 2
Vincent Persichetti: Concerto for Piano 4 Hands (final mvt.)